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Running to the Core Podcast

Feb 22, 2024

In this solo podcast episode, Dianne talks about the term Preferential Recruitment.

Preferential recruitment suggests that when you are lying down on your back to do a sit up or curl up, the rectus abdominis muscles, especially the upper segments, will work "preferentially" when you lift your head up. 

This is a term Dianne first heard over 20 years ago in a presentation by Physiotherapist Caroline Dowd, in South Australia.

Consider how much your whole abdominal muscle wall has changed during your pregnancy, with the weight of your growing baby or babies inside the uterus being taken by the lower half of your abdominal wall.

Postnatally, if you focus on sit ups as an exercise to tone and strengthen your abdominal wall, without some focus on and rebuild of the lower and deeper muscles, including their endurance function, then you could be working mainly your upper rectus abdominis. 

When you build the lower and deeper abdominal wall in the postnatal stages of recovery, as well as your upper rectus and obliques, you work to return the balance throughout your abdominal muscle wall.

Finding someone to train you and give you a program that can be progressed at your own pace, can optimise your postnatal recovery.

If you are a fitness professional, and want to know more, there is a 7 hour course called Early Postnatal Programming which goes into further details about the elements around postnatal retraining of the abdominal wall. This is available from Fitpro in the UK.


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